Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Choosing an Editor for Your Book

The relationship between the writer and editor is a special one, and can have a significant impact on the overall shape of the work that is ultimately published. The editor you select will be of profound importance in the success of your writing.

There are many different ways to find potential editors for your work. They can be identified through simple online searches, by searching through the Acknowledgement sections of books, and by attending any of the numerous conferences common to the publishing industry.

Finding an editor, and finding the right editor for you and your work are different issues. There are some guidelines to consider when evaluating the right editor for you. Editors vary in their skills and styles, and the key is to find the right one for you and for your work.

The following are some simple tips for hiring an editor:

Aim for a Specialist: Look for editors that specialize in your type of work, and the more specific you can get the better. If you write books about female detectives, look for fiction editors who specialize in mysteries, and if possible mysteries that center on female detectives.

Read their Work: One of the advantages of the writing world is that you can try before you buy; you can evaluate previous work.

Interview: Editing and writing are acts of collaboration, and it helps as a writer to have an editor who you can work with comfortably. Finding the right mix of skill, talent, and personality will be a personal matter, but it is worthwhile to spend a little time ensuring that a good fit is likely.

Ask for References: Using references is never a guarantee, but it is a step that should be taken. First it gives you the opportunity to help validate the credentials of the editor and secondly, it helps you to get insight into the editor’s working style.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Choosing the right editor is extremely important. While the technical expertise is something to definitely consider, an author must look at how well s/he can get along with the editor. While you don't have to be best friends - and indeed you don't want to be overly chummy - you do need to like the person and respect the editor's opinion. Remember, this is a person who will be in your life for the next several months.

    So use the interview - whether over the phone or via email - to see how easily you two relate, get a feel for the editor's personality, and ask any questions you have about the process.


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